Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Infectious Disease

Chlamydial Infection in Cats

Animals Affected – Cat

General Information
Chlamydia psittaci is a microscopic organism resembling a bacterium. The various strains of Chlamydia may infect a certain species of animal, including people. One strain infects birds and people, another strain infects cats and people, but none infects dogs.

Chlamydial conjunctivitis appears as swollen, congested, reddened tissue surrounding the clear, unaffected cornea. Small blisters (follicles) may develop on the conjunctiva. Typically one eye becomes infected, and then the other eye 10 to 20 days later.

The disease is spread by direct contact with the discharge from the eyes; therefore, always wash your hands after handling or treating infected cats.

Other cats in the household should be separated, if at all possible, especially during the early stages of the disease. Some individuals are more likely to contract the disease than others because of differences in natural resistance.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Laboratory tests, such as conjunctival scrapings, are used to confirm the diagnosis in the early stages of the disease. In later stages, the conjunctival scrapings usually do not reveal the specific inclusion bodies (elements that may be visualized in the affected cells that are characteristic of Chlamydia). Even though the scrapings are negative, they still have value by revealing other information that is helpful in managing your pet’s disorder.
2. Gently wipe the eyes with moist tissue or cotton to remove excess drainage and mucus. Added eye lubrication with artificial tears is helpful if the mucous membranes (conjunctiva) remain very red and irritated. Wash your hands after treating your cat.
3. Some cats may become carriers of the disease, and under stressful conditions it may recur.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.